Lynnette Jalufka

Here are two characters at a medieval tournament. What point of view am I in?


Lady Elyse looked around at the brightly colored tents that housed the knights of the tournament. Surely one would be a good match for her cousin. She stopped at the tent of Sir Reynald who was talking to his squire. He would do nicely: handsome, charming, and from a good family. “Theresa.” She turned to thin air. Her cousin was gone! “Theresa!”

Two tents away, Lady Theresa gave a heavy sigh. She wasn’t deaf. The beautiful gray horse being saddled for the joust was far more interesting then Elyse’s latest attempt to find her a husband.


So, what’s the point of view? I am in both character’s heads, so this would be third-person omniscient. Now, here’s the important part: is this the best way to tell what happens in this scene? It depends on what I want to accomplish. If I want to show Elyse’s frustration with her cousin, I would need to put the second paragraph in Elyse’s point of view. If I wanted to show Theresa’s irritation, I would need to change the first. Could I leave it as it is? Possibly, but that’s usually frowned upon today unless it’s romance.

Ultimately, it’s my job as the author to figure out the best point of view to tell not only this scene, but the entire novel. That may take rewriting the scene in different points of view to find the right one.



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